Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Cheesecake with pear and cardamom

Right on then. The new love has brought many things into my life. Such as those guitars and amps. It's unfathomable how many cables and leads and chargers can live in one tiny flat! Luckily we're only a few weeks away from moving to our new home (with a proper kitchen! Big enough to accommodate a dining table! And a dishwasher! And a real oven! I can't stop squealing!) so sooner or later this, too, had to happen: Meet The Parents.

The fear was evidently mutual. The Mother in Law is apparently one of those rare people who actually read this blog. And consequently was concerned as to "what to offer a food blogger?" In the end she, too, had worked herself into such frenzy that she'd started questioning whether she even knows how to make coffee properly (!)It's not the first time I've encountered reactions like that, though it's not often it takes on proportions quite like that. And anyway - there's no need for that. When food is made with love, it's bound to be good. And I doubt any Michelin chef could knock my Dad's Spag Bol out of my favourite foods ranking (though if any of you are reading this blog - I'm more than willing to give you guys a try. You can contact me here.)

And must-have accessory to any visit to the future in-laws is a cake in your hand. After a quick consultation I settled for a cheesecake. The crust gets its (Christmasy) flavour from gingerbread crumbs and browned butter, which lends it lovely nutty notes. You can make the cheesecake mixture using only cream cheese or Greek yogurt too. If you want to kick up the peariness, you can marinate the slice for a bit in a dash of Xanthé. If you make this put of apples, Calvados is the go-to-tipple. Pear and rum might be another combination worth a try...!


300 g gingerbread
115 g browned butter

Finely blizz the gingerbread in a blender. Melt the butter and let it brown so it starts emitting nutty aromas. Mix with the gingerbread so you're left with a mixture reminiscent of wet sand. Line a 20 cm loose bottom cake tin with parchment and press the mixture ontp the bottom and the sides (about 5 cm high) into a thin sheet. Let set in the fridge for about half an hour. Then bake at 175° for about 10 minutes and let cool. In the meanwhile make the filling.


100 g cream cheese
150 g Greek yogurt
3/4 dl sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
the grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp corn starch
2 eggs

2-3 pears, depending on the size

Beat the eggs lightly and then combine with rest of the ingredients. Using a mixer (for the silkiest, lump-free consistency) whisk until smooth and pour about 1/3 of the mixture into the cooled shell. Peel the pears, split lenghtwise and remove the core. Cut into 3 mm slices and, starting from the outer edge and making your way towards the centre of the cake, place them in same direction on top of the mixture, each slice overlapping the previous one. Don't lose your cool if the perfect rosette don't start taking shape immediately, it's easy to adjust it later on by tucking in more slices where they're needed.

The rosette is pretty enough on its own too, so if you want, you could leave it visible. In that case make the edges lower and cut the cheesecake mixture in half. Pour in rest of the cheesecake mixture on top of the pears and bake at 175° for an hour. About halfway through cover with foil to keep it from browning to much. After an hour turn off the oven and keep the cake in there for another hour. 

Let cool in the room temperature and then set in the fridge for a good couple of hours(or until the following day). And if your nerves don't have enough going for them already you could always break the cake during the photography session, go into psychosis ("there's no way I could ever offer that to anybody! ANYBODY! ESPECIALLY YOUR MOTHER!") steal some branches from the garden next door and desperately try to masquerade the damage. Then it's time to put on the dress, hyperventilate a bit, smile and hope for the best...!




1 comment :

  1. Can't wait to try it, but I'm thinking maybe St. German as well.